9 Absinthe Cocktail Delights: From Classics To Modern Twists

Absinthe is a prevalent drink boasting a vivid and decadent reputation. Popular with artists and writers, including both Oscar Wilde and Paul Gaugin, this green liquor was first introduced in the 1900s and is now returning to center stage as the base of many must-try cocktails.

With unique flavors such as wormwood, anise, and other aromatics, it’s become a popular ingredient for mixologists around the world. From Sazerac to Death in the Afternoon, cocktail connoisseurs are embracing this liquor, adding it to more taste-tantalizing drinks by the minute, some of which we have listed below.

What is Absinthe?

In a nutshell, Absinthe is a herb-infused alcohol derived from anise, fennel, and flowers and leaves of the wormwood shrub (Artemisia absinthium).

Although most Absinthe liqueurs sit between 90 and 148 proof, it is possible to find 179 proof Absinthe. To put this into perspective, liquors such as whiskey and vodka generally contain 40% alcohol.

Due to the high alcohol content of Absinthe, this drink is best served diluted. Alternatively, it is mixed with other flavors and spirits. This is why it’s becoming a popular ingredient addition to contemporary absinthe drinking.

Below, we have listed ten must-try cocktails, all of which are a great introduction to Absinthe’s unique flavor profile. Read on to learn more.

1. Moulin Rouge

Named after the famous Parisian show, the Moulin Rouge is a great pick-me-up on a night out. Boasting 25 ml Archers, 12.5 ml of the green fairy, and 5 ml Grenadine to add that ‘rouge’ hue, this is a mood-boosting drink, perfect for a party!

To add extra zest, top with the energy drink Red Bull. Finish by garnishing with mint tips and serving in your favorite glass on ice.

2. Traffic Light

The ingredients reflect the name of this cocktail. It’s created with two parts cranberry juice, one part orange juice, and, of course, one part Absinthe liquor.

The orange and cranberry flavors balance the bitterness of the Absinthe, whilst each ingredient’s color makes this drink appear like that of a traffic light.

3. Green Tear

The Green Tear, with its refreshing flavor combinations, is a great afternoon or early evening drink – perfect for a summer’s day!

To make this cocktail, you’ll need a chilled cocktail glass filled up to the halfway mark with ice. You can choose whichever you have to hand. Fill a cocktail shaker with one part Absinthe Original, two parts cranberry juice, one part Indian tonic water, and one slice of lemon to add a zingy edge.

4. Sazerac

One of the oldest yet also the most prevalent Absinthe cocktails at present is the Sazerac. Said to be one of the world’s first cocktails to be invented, it was first introduced in the 19th century in New Orleans.

Those in the know will coat the sides of a frosted glass with Absinthe. They will then pour out any excess liqueur. In a separate glass, you will need to combine sugar and water. This is followed by a splash of Peychaud bitters. Stir until all the ingredients have been dissolved.

When happy with the consistency, strain and pour the contents into the Absinthe-coated glass, adding rye as a finishing touch. Stir and garnish with a twist of lemon.

5. The Green Beast

Absinthe isn’t the first spirit that pops to mind when thinking of drinks, but the Green Beast is here to change your mind. Boasting a combination of lime juice, water, sugar, and Absinthe, this cocktail offers a great option for those looking for a tipple to sip on.

Planning a party? This recipe doubles up as a punch and can easily be created in bigger quantities and served in pitchers.

6. Third Degree

Essentially a martini, only with a splash of the green liqueur and a twist of lemon to add a sharper edge. To make this tangy concoction, pour dry vermouth, gin, and Absinthe into a chilled pitcher filled with ice. Stir to mix the contents and strain into a martini glass. For best results, pre-chill the glass. For the garnish, add a lemon twist.

7. Sherman Cocktail

This cocktail is similar to the famous Manhattan, only with a splash of Absinthe and orange bitters.

A great summer drink to share with friends. Especially when served over ice in a cocktail pitcher. To create this cocktail, you will require sweet vermouth, whisky, and Absinthe. Shake in orange bitters and Angostura. Stir and strain into a martini glass that has already been chilled and finish by garnishing the end product with a twist of lemon.

8. Death in the Afternoon

Perhaps one of the easiest cocktails to make with Absinthe is Death in the Afternoon. Pour the liquor into a chilled champagne flute and add sparkling wine gradually. This is the perfect post-lunch or pre-dinner tipple.

9. Corpse Reviver No. 2

As the name suggests, this gin cocktail has a king that will bring you back to life. To start, add ice to a cocktail shaker. Next, combine Lillet, gin, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Taking an additional cocktail glass, add Absinthe and swirl to coat the side of the glass. Shake the mixture thoroughly and strain the contents into the glass, adding a cherry to garnish.

10. McKinley’s Delight

This is another cocktail to use the Manhattan as inspiration, only it includes the ingredients of cherry brandy and, of course, Absinthe. To begin, place ice in a cocktail pitcher and pour in whiskey, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth, and Absinthe. Stir all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled martini glass.

The Bottom Line

According to Report Linker, the worldwide market for Absinthe is estimated to reach $44.3 billion by 2026. Perhaps this is due to its mysterious reputation and its diverse flavors.

Although the cocktail creations we have listed touch the surface, all are a great introduction to this spirit and its many distinctive yet versatile flavors. Absinthe offers an unexpected addition to various cocktails; all can be tailored to different events and occasions.

The bottom line? Whether hosting a cocktail evening for the girls, looking for a summer aperitif, or an after-dinner digestif, Absinthe is fast becoming a go-to liquor of choice. It’s versatile, creates great flavor combinations, and can be tweaked to your liking! All in all, a fun way to shake up any classic cocktail.